New Vancouver-based Coding Academy Lighthouse Labs To Launch This Fall

Earlier this morning it was reported that Toronto-based software development agency Functional Imperative will be providing the developer-hungry city of Vancouver with a new coding boot camp.

Lighthouse Labs will launch workshops in mid-October with a plan to offer a full-out program in January. It’s offering will consist of workshops and immersive programs aimed at teaching students more about programming. In Vancouver, the emergence of successful startup companies have created a shortage of qualified developers.

Lighthouse Labs will consist of eight intensive weeks at its Gastown location, where instructors will teach new programmers how to create web applications using Ruby on Rails. Seasoned teacher Khurram Virani and his staff of TAs will show students “the ins and outs of this versatile language, teaching you everything you need to know about fullstack development.”

By the time students are done the course, Lighthouse Labs claims they will be superstars in Ruby on Rails.

“The strength and size of the tech community in Vancouver is incredible,” said Virani. “For us it was never a question of whether we wanted to be in Vancouver, but a question of why we weren’t already there and how we could best get involved. We believe that bringing a coding school to Vancouver will help build on the community’s recent successes and take it to the next level.”


New immersive programming schools and bootcamps have sprouted in major cities in both Canada and the US due to increasing demand for developers. In the US, companies like General Assembly, Dev Bootcamp, and The Starter League are all garnering attention in technology education. These outfits are opening new programs aimed at creating trained and job-ready students in a fraction of the time required through traditional education channels.

There’s also Toronto’s Bitmaker Labs, the Ontario outfit run by Will Richman, Matt Gray and Andrew Mawer. They shut down in July when the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities became concerned about a “lack of government oversight.” The incident probably served to embarrass the province’s government if anything.

Within a week the program was back up and running, and the attention generated from it indicated that these types of programs are both in demand, and here to stay.

Virani has been Bitmaker’s lead instructor since their inception and was also directly involved in developing their curriculum. “What I really love about the immersive program model is that it focuses on getting students ready for the job – and fast. Most people in industry will tell you that 80% of what you learn comes from work experience,” he said. “So, why not focus on getting students to that point quickly and setting them up for success on the job? We no longer live in a world where you need four years of training to become a programmer, and we definitely don’t live in a world where four years is a practical amount of time to change career paths. New and disruptive education models such as Lighthouse are changing that and bringing access to one of Canada’s fastest growing industries to the masses.”

The workshops will offer hands-on learning opportunities for those eager to add to their current skill set and learn about building a successful product. They’re also aimed at managers and executives looking to learn about working with new technologies and programmers. The immersive program meanwhile, is longer and more intensive, offering students the opportunity to build the skills required to begin a new and exciting career or to build their own applications and startups. Students will learn front and back end development with a focus on Ruby on Rails.



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